TIVERTON TOWN 2-2 FROME TOWN
Had the Yellows managed to salvage a two-all draw in the original Boxing Day fixture, there would definitely been a huge feeling of delight and relief amongst home fans and players having trailed two nil at the interval before the match was correctly abandoned minutes in to the second period. The two-all draw that they did manage however, left the Yellows wondering at full time how and where it went wrong. A goal up inside five minutes, a twenty-second league goal of the season for Levi Landricombe was cancelled out by George Miller four minutes before the interval and after the break, one of, if not the strangest decision of the season seen thus far when referee Daniel Flynn decided to dismiss Frome Town full back Kris Miller for `handball`, Landricombe `missing` the resulting spot kick, before the visitors seemed like they were about to snatch an unlikely three points at the death, Jono Davies firing home from close range three minutes before time only for Tom Bath to deny them, equalising two minutes later.
Manager Martyn Rogers made two changes to those who had drawn two each at Kings Langley four days earlier, Ben Mammola returned to the starting XI after his enforced absence as did Nick Hurst for the first time since February, Jamie Price and Jared Lewington dropping to the bench while Callum Hall remained the only absentee due to continued ill health. Frome themselves were similarly beset with similar problems as Tivvy, their squad stripped to the bare bones as several first-team regulars were unavailable for various reasons, most notable evidence of this was with former Yellows midfielder Ollie Knowles playing as a central defender.
As early as the fourth minute and the Yellows first real opening, Landricombe opened the scoring. They had however survived an early scare as Mammola and Armstrong left a loose ball to each other, Ollie Knight nipping in but unable to capitalise as his tame lob was easily collected by the retreating Armstrong before Michael Landricombe sent his brother scampering through on goal, Levi`s shot too hot for Kyle Phillips in the Frome goal to deal with. Chances came for both sides to increase their tally continued to arrive throughout an entertaining half, both goalkeepers earning their crust with excellent saves, Armstrong denying Davies at full stretch and Phillips prevented Landricombe from adding his and the Yellows second before George Miller capitalised on some slack defending after Ben Witheys run and cross to draw the sides level with a simple finish four minutes before the interval.
Levi Landricombe released Jordan Rogers at the start of the second half, his goal-bound effort was smartly pushed behind by Phillips for a corner and from that, a strange turn of events to say the least. Nick Hursts delivery was headed goalwards by Owen Irish which Kris Miller headed clear, that said, Irish`s effort appeared to have crossed the line. Not, however, in the eyes of referee Flynn. Much to the bemusement of all involved and the majority, if not all the crowd, Flynn awarded a penalty and dismissed Miller for an alleged use of a hand. Understandably incensed by the decision, two Frome players were cautioned for their `heated and prolonged protestations` but the decision was not about to be reversed. Landricombe stepped up to restore the Yellows lead but with the help of the crossbar and an un-moved linesman, Phillips denied him. With justice seemingly served, Frome rallied and despite their numerical disadvantage appeared to be heading for an unlikely three points when the impressive Jono Davies robbed Ben Mammola, played a one-two with Ryan Bath before drilling home inside Armstrongs near post with only two minutes of the ninety remaining. So quick was the Yellows response though, this match reporter missed some of it. Scott Rogers was felled on the edge of the Frome area, the resulting quickly taken free kick caught defenders (and others) off guard and Tom Bath was given the simple task of tapping home from close range to salvage a draw from an entertaining and controversial match.
Tiverton: Liam Armstrong, JAMIE SHORT, Nick Hurst, Owen Irish (Jamie Price 84), Ben Mammola, Tom Gardner, Tom Bath, Michael Landricombe, Jordan Rogers (Jared Lewington 72), Levi Landricombe, Scott Rogers.
Goals: Levi Landricombe 4, Tom Bath 89.
Report By: Simon Ellis